Wednesday, April 30, 2014
Miss Jeanette Loff
Another beautiful actress from the silent screen who came to a tragic end. Her death at age 35 reads eerily like the death of Olive Thomas which surprised me. Jeanette is definitely someone worth remembering not only for her beautiful face, but for her many talents.
Jeanette Loff was born on October 6, 1906 in Orofino, Idaho. She was the eldest daughter born to famous Danish violinist, Wiarius Loff and his wife, Inga. Sister Irene was born a year later, and youngest sister, Myrtle was born in 1914.
I have read that Jeanette was born Jeanette Lov but from what I could find in census records, her father changed the spelling of their last name before the girls were born. And I believe he went by Maurice instead of his given Danish name. Information is a bit scattered, so bear with me.
When the girls were still young, the family moved to Canada so their father could continue his music career. Jeanette too started honing her own talent by appearing in stage productions at age eleven and singing opera at age sixteen!
When she was seventeen, her family relocated to the Oregon where Jeanette got a job playing the organ at a movie house. She used the name "Jan Lov" while working here, so I think maybe this is why people think that she was born with the Danish spelling of her name still intact.
Jeanette reportedly made her screen debut in the 1927 version of Uncle Tom's Cabin. Supposedly Cecil B. DeMille spotted her in this film and decided to offer her a contract.
Her first credited role was later that year in the film My Friend From India.
Around the time that she began working in the film industry, her parents divorced and Inga, Irene, and Myrtle all moved to California to live near Jeanette. Even though the sisters were close and Inga made all of Jeanette's clothes, they all lived in separate houses. A girl has gotta have her space!
Unfortunately, Jeanette was type casted as an ingenue right off the bat. She was a beautiful blonde, so that must have been as far as her talents go, right? Ugh, Hollywood is such a ridiculous place. Her career consisted of 21 films in a 7 year span, and none of the films were really anything stellar. When the talkies came around, she took a brief break from the screen to do some stage work before heading back to make a couple more films.
Her final film was 1934's Million Dollar Baby.
Jeanette Loff passed away on August 4, 1942 at the Hollywood Hospital in Los Angeles. She died after ingesting ammonia either accidentally or purposefully. She was only 35 years old.
Did Jeanette kill herself or was this just a terrible, terrible accident? Her family refused to believe that she had killed herself. According to them, Jeanette had been dealing with a stomach ailment for several years before her death and she most likely ingested the ammonia thinking it was the bottle of medication. Sounds just like what may have happened to Olive Thomas, doesn't it? Both ladies died of severe burns to the throat as well. Ugh, what an awful way to go.
Jeanette was buried at Forest Lawn in Glendale. She shares a niche with her sister Myrtle, who died in 1957.
Jeanette was married twice. Her first husband was a salesman named Harry Rosenbloom. They met while she was still living in Oregon and they married sometime around 1927. They divorced two years later. Her second husband was liquor distributor and producer, Bert Friedlob. They married in 1935 and remained so until her death. Bert went on to marry and divorce actress Eleanor Parker.
She had have an affair with Gilbert Roland (lucky) and Paul Bern. Never understood the Paul Bern thing. The man got Jean Harlow, Barbara La Marr....I just don't get it! Maybe it was the power he had? Who knows.
She was often compared to Vilma Banky. I can kinda see the similarities, but not too much.
"It matters little whether she ever has a starring role, for she herself is an all-star blonde. She's Vilma Banky, May Allison, Agnes Ayres, Alice Terry, and Anna Q. Nilsson in a production of less than a hundred and ten pounds." ~~ Photoplay, May 1929